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Clearfield Alliance girls return just one letterwinner this season
Friday, November 23, 2012
By Jaclyn Yingling Sports Editor
After several years of success, the Clearfield Alliance Christian School's girls basketball team finds itself in an unfamiliar position this year.
With the graduation of four seniors, the Lady Crusaders return just one letterwinner to the 2012-13 squad in senior Alyssa Wharton.
"We have four senior starters that are gone, so it's definitely going to be a challenge this year," said CACS head coach John Wharton. "At the same time, it's going to be a rewarding year. We are going to see a lot of young girls step up and take advantage of the open spaces."
The Lady Crusaders went 15-5 last season with Akasha Goins, Miriah Coddington, Chelsea Fleming, Alyssa Caldwell, along with Wharton, as starters.
Goins was the team's leading scorer, averaging 14.0 points per game.
But Wharton was the team's second-leading scorer, adding 11.0 ppg and averaging double-digits in rebounds.
She had her best game last season against Calvary Baptist, scoring 24 points and pulling down 17 rebounds.
That means most of the pressure will fall on her early in the season as the new starters adjust to playing full minutes in a varsity contest.
"The majority of the load will fall on her," Coach Wharton said. "But, we can't be a one-player team. She has to incorporate the other players in. There are a lot of other girls that are stepping it up in practice and are really looking forward to taking on the challenge."
With just seven players on the team, and just two of those in 10th and 12th grades, it will be a different type of team than in years past.
Sophomore Rachel Passmore, who played in 15 games last season will see plenty of action, as will eighth graders Amanda Passmore, Bethany Folmar and Shandi Folmar.
Shandi Folmar played in 19 games last year, and was one of the first girls off the bench when girls got into foul trouble last season. Bethany Folmar saw action in 13 games, while Passmore played in 11.
"We were able to last year with some of the games we had incorporate them into the game and let them come along with the senior girls," said Coach Wharton. "They really benefited from the amount of experience they got.
"Shandi had a lot of playoff experience because of the foul trouble we got into during the playoffs last year. It paid off last year, and we are hoping they are able to translate that experience onto the court."
Add into the mix seventh graders Gretchen Passmore and Meghan Kumm and the Lady Crusaders will be a very young team this season.
"Gretchen and Meghan are our two newest girls," Coach Wharton said. "We are hoping they do what the rest of the girls have done and step up to the plate. We want them to play an integral part of the team."
Last season, the Lady Crusaders averaged 43.3 points per game. With five solid starters who each could score in double digits on any given night, they were able to outgun teams with their offense.
This year, Clearfield Alliance will need to rely on its defense and take advantages of the chances they are given on the boards.
But that doesn't mean the team doesn't have the same goals as it has had in the past. And, that includes making the ACAA playoffs once again.
"Our goal is still the playoffs," said Coach Wharton. "We feel that we have a competitive group. With the determination they have this year, I don't think that playoffs is something that is too far out of the realm of possibilities."
The Lady Crusaders kick off the season on Nov. 30, traveling to Clymer at 5:30 p.m.

Alyssa Wharton.
Rachel Passmore.
Eighth Grade
Amanda Passmore, Bethany Folmar, Shandi Folmar.
Seventh Grade
Gretchen Passmore, Meghan Kumm.

30-at Clymer.
3-Hebron Charter, 5 p.m.; 4-Blair County; 7-8-at Clymer Tip-Off Tournament, 3 p.m.; 11-at Centre County Christian; 14-Grace Prep; 21-DuBois.
4-Hebron Charter, 5 p.m.; 7-at Blair County Christian; 8-Great Commission; 15-Cambria County Christian; 17-Huntingdon Calvary, 5 p.m.; 18-at Central County Christian; 22-at Grace Prep, 4 p.m.; 29-Clymer, 5 p.m.
1-at Great Commission; 5-at DuBois; 7-at Centre County Christian, 4 p.m.; 8-at Cambria County Christian; 12-at Huntingdon Calvary.
All games begin at 5:30 p.m. unless noted.

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